Tag Archives: large scale dog paintings

Is This the Dog for Me? – Greyhound

'Friends in Need' Painting by Gabriele - www.ipaintyourpet.net

'Friends in Need' Painting by Gabriele - http://www.ipaintyourpet.net

Check out the link on this site or your local rescue group for adopting a greyhound.

History:
Greyhounds were amongst the most highest-favored of all dogs; Pharaohs and other Egyptian, Asian and African leaders had images of their dogs engraved into their tombs dating as far back as 4000BC. However, DNA analysis done in 2004 put it close to herding dogs, implying that although greyhounds have been around for millennia, the modern breed sprang from a wider genetic base more recently. Greyhounds were first used for hunting antelopes, wolves and deer and after the decline of large game for coursing smaller animals. Later track racing took over which again proved them to be the fastest dogs on earth with speeds around 40 miles. Only the cheetah is faster in the animal world. The ‘grey’ does not refer to color but, according to some sources, comes from Old English, meaning ‘fine’. Others say it is contracted form of ‘degree hound’ as it was once allowed to be possessed only by people with degrees. And others say that it derives from Greece.

Appearance:
The greyhound has a graceful, strong muscled, deep-chested, narrow-waisted, streamlined body. While running its long tail acts as a keel and the ears can fold toward the neck. Males can measure between up to 30”, weighing up to 70 lbs.
The greyhound has his eyes well positioned at the sides of his head giving him a far wider field of view than other dogs (270 degrees versus 180 degrees.) They are sight hounds and can spot movement up to half a mile away.

Behavior:
Greyhounds are calm and social indoors and are often referred to as couch potatoes. Although greyhounds are possibly the most athletic of all domestic dogs they do not necessarily need a lot of exercise. Two 20 minute walks a day will usually suffice.  A high fenced garden is advised as they are great jumpers. Greyhounds are fairly easy to train and can learn almost all commands. However, they must never be allowed off leash in public places, as it is in their natures to chase anything that moves and may choose to totally ignore you if they have their eyes set on a prey.

They are affectionate with their families although can be aloof with strangers. They normally get on well with other dogs in the household but cat owners should exercise caution although many are said to tolerate or even take to cats or small dogs. Because of their nature as sprinters, greyhounds have relatively low endurance and their conditioning need to be slowly build up if you’d like to take him jogging.

Greyhounds rarely bark. The joke goes that greyhounds are good watchdogs: they watch thieves carry your stuff away. They are relatively small eaters and will therefore not cost a lot to feed. Grooming is very easy, a good brush once a week is enough. They don’t have much body odor but like most short haired dogs do shed a little.

Ailments:
Greyhounds will live on average for 10 to 12 years. However, some ex-racers only live to 7 possibly due to the use of steroids during their racing careers.
Because of the greyhound’s explosive physical abilities, they are prone to leg injuries. They are also known to be sensitive to drugs, especially sedatives. Adopted greyhounds will need regular dental care as their teeth are generally badly neglected. Nails must be kept short and the ears kept clean. Skin irritations of the tail and esophageal malformations are possible breed ailments.

Related Designer Mixes:
Whippet: Cross of fox terrier and greyhound

Other greyhound breeds:
Spanish greyhound (Spain)
Rampur greyhound (India)
Saluki (Arabia)
Sloughi (Africa)

'Quite A Day' Painting by Gabriele - www.ipaintyourpet.net

'Quite A Day' Painting by Gabriele - http://www.ipaintyourpet.net

Is This the Dog for Me? Weimaraner and Labmaraner

Weimeraner copy

Check out the link on this site or your local rescue group for adopting a rescued Weimaraner.

History:

The Weimaraner was bread in Germany over one thousand years ago and is kin to the German Pointer. Some claim it is discernable in a 17th century painting by Van Dyck. It was used for big game hunting until big game declined. Treasured in the 19th century by the aristocrats of Weimar, Germany, it was then and now popular for hunting small game, and, because of its soft carrying mouth for water fowl. It has Bloodhound and Pointer blood and is still used as a working dog.

Appearance:

Weimeraners are strikingly beautiful dogs with a strong boned build, light amber eyes and a sleek short coat of silver to mouse gray. They can reach heights up to 28” and weigh between 60 and 85 lb. Not in need of extensive grooming, once a week brushing keeps the coat shiny.  Shedding in minimal.

Although more rare, the longhair with a smooth or slightly wavy coat up to 5″ long needs more grooming attention.

Behavior:

Weimaraners need thorough training and regular and extensive exercise. This is not a city dog. Sufficient space, a fenced yard, and lots of human attention will make them excellent companions as they are all-round dogs who love family life. They are friendly, intelligent and energetic but, with their vigilance, make excellent guard dogs if their home or family are threatened. Because of their dominance, they are not recommended for first time dog owners.

Overbreeding has let to temperament problems such as aggression and separation anxiety in some lines. Lack of exercise will make them aggressive and difficult and can lead to destructive behavior.

Ailments:

Weimaraners are affected by the usual canine problems but with no great frequency. They are, however, prone to two more unusual problems: spinal dysraphism which is a severe though non-lethal condition, affecting the gait and giving an unusual stance which resembles a crouched position. Ear infections are easily acquired due to the drop-eared conformation.

Related Designer Mixes:

Recent designer dog mixes have produced the Labmaraner, a cross of a Labrador Retriever and a Weimaraner. This breed is an outdoorsy, fast, agile breed not meant for urbanites. They need good management which can be trying because of an underlying stubbornness. Consistent training and tough regulations are needed to keep the peace in your house.
Labmaraner can weigh from 50 to 100 lb and their coat color ranges from dark gold to pale cream, black, and chocolate.

LabmaranerLabmaraner (photo by Anna Kuperberg)

Dog Training –Timing and Consistency-

'Good Dog'

'Good Dog'

Timing is everything! Dogs will only recognize the meaning of a reward or a correction if the time between them is very short. Most behaviorists say that one must deliver feedback within a second of the behavior. This is not only because dogs have a short attention span and memory. If you like him to sit but don’t give feedback the second he puts his bottom down, he might be already back up. In that case it’s better to not reward at all then to reward the wrong behavior. Move the treat out of sight and say “UH OH!” Then ask him to sit again and reward immediately. Rewarding or correcting your dog immediately also teaches him to act fast and not hesitate when a command is given.

Consistency is another must. Mixed messages confuse dogs and can make them anxious and non responsive.
Can he jump up at you or not? If you allow him to greet you by jumping up at you, but yell at him if he does the same comming back from a muddy run, what message are you giving him?
This goes for anyone handling your dog which is sometimes hard to enforce. Especially people who don’t have dogs, need to be educated unless you want to spend hours un-training the bad behavior. In my experience this is especially difficult around food. Because dogs can be incredible cute and persistent around the good smells of home cooking, it is difficult to keep people from feeding him with table scraps. Unless you don’t mind your dog getting obnoxious as soon as you sit down for your dinner, you need to be as firm with your friends as with your dog. A good trick is telling them your dog is allergic to people food.

Using consistent commands is also important. Dogs can, with training, associate the word ‘come’ with coming to you. But it confuses them when you have taught them the word ‘come’ but then ask them to ‘come here’ or ‘here’ . What in the world does ‘here’ mean, he might think.
One of the biggest mistakes is to punish your dog when he finally comes back to you after you told him to do so for the last ten minutes. Grind your teeth and reward him for coming back at all. If you yell at him you will have taught him that it was a mistake to come back and he will stay away longer next time. (By the way, a good trick to get your dog to come to you, if he is not yet properly trained, is running away from him. If you run after him he’ll think it just a fun game, if you run in the opposite direction he’ll want to follow you. Have your treat ready when he does.)

Most dogs react more to the tone of voice than what is said. Try saying ‘Good Boy’ in an angry voice or ‘Bad Dog’ in a high pitched happy voice and you know what I mean.

Old Dogs

Jake of Graton, CA

Jake of Graton, CA

“Olds dogs can be cloudy-eyed and grouchy, gray of muzzle, graceless of gait, eccentric of habit, hard of hearing, wheezy, lazy, and lumpy. But anyone who has ever loved an old dog, these things are of little consequence. Old dogs are sweetly vulnerable. They show exorbitant gratitude and limitless trust. They are funny in new and unexpected ways. But above all, they seem at peace.”  -Gene Weingarten

Dog Training –Introducing a clicker-

'What are you waiting for' Watercolor by ipaintyourpet.net

'What are you waiting for' Watercolor by ipaintyourpet.net

Most dog trainers recommend the use of a clicker to train a dog. This is a simple device that produces a clicking sound if pressed. The idea is that your dog will quickly understand that each time he hears a click, he will get rewarded. This way you can mark the exact behavior you want your dog to repeat with a click, which is easy for your dog to understand. The click provides a bridge between the reward and your dog’s behavior. A click promises a reward even from a distance or with short delay and encourages the dog to think and figure out what you want, so he will actively participate and enjoy his lesson.

In the beginning a clicking sound will mean nothing to your dog, although he may look up to see what is making the noise. You need to teach him that the click is positive, rewarding, and worth responding to.

Start by showing your dog that you have treats, so you have his attention. Hold the clicker in one hand and the treat in the other. Click and treat. Keep repeating this, aiming to click when your dog is looking at you. You can try throwing a treat on the floor, clicking once just before your dog eats it. Keep repeating.
If your dog already knows a trick, you can test if he understands that click equals reward.
If he can sit on command for example, say sit, click as he does so and reward once he is sitting. Move away; repeat the command, click, reward, and so on.

Once your dog understands that the click always means a reward, you have a vast array of possibilities at your finger tips. Simply wait until a natural behavior happens, like a leg stretch or a head shake, click, then give him a treat. Your dog will soon try to recreate the action that resulted in the reward. For example, if he does not know how to sit on command, be ready to click when he sits down naturally. Repeat the next time and so on. Your dog will soon make the connection. Once he does, add a voice command.

A few tricks to know:

– Only click once at one time even if you give lots of treats.

– Add a voice command only after he understands the trick.

– Always reward your dog after a click but have him guessing how many treats he gets and when. Sometimes give him a handful for doing particularly well and occasionally ask for two or tree repetitions of a move before rewarding.

– Don’t always click at the end of a behavior, as this will teach your dog to always stop at this point. For example, on circle moves, sometimes click after half a revolution, sometimes after one and a half circles.

Source: Dog Tricks by Mary Ray and Justine Harding

Hot Dogs

Heatstroke in dogs:
Dogs do not sweat through their skin like humans – they release heat primarily by panting and they sweat through the foot pads and nose. If a dog cannot effectively expel heat, the internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog’s temperature reaches 106°, damage to the body’s cellular system and organs may become irreversible.
All dogs can get heatstroke, but geriatric dogs and short nosed dogs like English Bulldog, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, Bullmastiff, Shih Tzu, and Pomeranien are more susceptible.

Signs:
• Vigorous panting
• Dark red gums
• Tacky or dry mucus membranes
• Lying down and unwilling to get up
• Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
• Thick saliva
• Dizziness or disorientation

What to do:
Move your dog out of the heat and away from the sun right away.
Begin cooling your dog by placing cool, wet rags or washcloths on the body – especially the foot pads and around the head. DO NOT use ice or very cold water! When the body temperature reaches 103°, stop cooling.
Offer your dog cool water, but do not force water into your dog’s mouth. He could choke on it.
Call or visit your vet right away – even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye.

Prevention:
• NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day, regardless of whether the windows are open. Even if the weather outside is not extremely hot, the inside of the car acts like an oven – temperatures can rise to dangerously high levels in a matter of minutes.
• Avoid vigorous exercise on warm days. When outside, opt for shady areas.
• Keep fresh cool water available at all times.
Source: dogs.about.com

painting by ipaintyourpet.net

painting by ipaintyourpet.net

Hot weather doggy treat

Drop some of your dogs favorite kibble into each well of an ice cube tray, fill with water and freeze. Watch your dog slurping it up to get to the treat. This is great summer fun and also good for teething puppies

LastDrop_ipaintyourpet